It’s nearly impossible to find film adaptations of Thomas Pynchon novels anywhere. I frankly don’t know why anyone would even try to film such books. It seems almost suicidally foolish. But this plucky fellow, Jeff Hoyt, has at least given it a small go. He’s filmed a sort-of version of the opening pages of Pynchon’s silly little lightweight piffle of a book, ‘Inherent Vice.’ This is where the lead detective/loafer/drug user/hippie/surfer/beach lounger/semi-retired permanent loser character, Doc, encounters his mysterious ex who presents him with a strange possibility for detective work. I like this little piece of film because it really tries to do Pynchon. The actors are Orien Longo and Rachel Kadison. The role of Doc is a very difficult thing to tackle because it really seems to require little effort. Actors who aren’t solid in their experiences always want to work at getting it down. You can’t do that with a character like Doc. If you aren’t him, you can’t play him. Simple as that. But the role of Shasta as played by Ms. Kadison is a sweet surprise. She’s damn good. She can do this work.
I’ve never been able to get through a book by Thomas Pynchon. Well, I should reveal that I’ve only tried once with his Against the Day. Unreadable as far as I’m concerned. But I still went out and bought a copy of Gravity’s Rainbow. James Joyce is unreadable too and yet I still like him. I never hold unreadability against a writer because I know how truly stupid I can be while reading – sometimes falling asleep and having to reread many pages. But this video is probably the best book trailer I have ever seen. I’d been thinking that the book sounded like a bore, but this trailer has me digging into the side pouch of my briefcase to find some spare change for the bookstore.
Another thing – whoever did the voiceover for this little movie is a stark raving mad genius. He should read the entire book out loud. I’d buy that too.